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Govt yet to discuss OBC quota with deemed varsities

Posted by indiapolicy on June 18, 2006

Govt yet to discuss OBC quota with deemed varsities
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 18
Although Oversight Committee Chairman M. Veerappa Moily has asserted that private and deemed universities will not be outside the ambit of reservation, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, headed by Mr Arjun Singh, and the University Grants Commission (UGC), which does not seem to share his enthusiasm, are yet to initiate a dialogue in this regard.

“Neither the ministry, nor the UGC has written to these universities to inform them that they will have to make necessary provisions to make space for the additional 27 per cent”, sources said.

The issue did not figure prominently on the agenda of the two-day meeting of Vice-Chancellors of deemed universities in New Delhi on May 4 and 5.

“The issue came up briefly, but was not discussed seriously and there was no mention of it in the minutes of the meeting”, the sources said.

The UGC has sought feedback from Central universities on the additional grant they will need to meet the 27 per cent reservation for other backward classes (OBCs).

The avoidable delay by the UGC in approaching private and deemed universities has put the Oversight Committee in a quandary.

It has declared that reservation for OBCs will be implemented in one go and will be extended to all private and deemed universities.

The tentative approach of the UGC has exasperated some Vice-Chancellors.

The Vice-Chancellor of a deemed university in New Delhi said, “We have not been told anything on the reservation issue. We have heard that the government proposes to implement reservation in deemed universities, but nothing has come to us officially”.

The Vice-Chancellor added, “There are many concerns that deemed universities have regarding increasing seats in one go, but nobody has cared to ask us. Not all of us are funded by the government. The costs will have to be worked out and space will have to be created, but no one seems concerned”.

Mr Moily’s assurance that the government will go all out to make it easy for private players to implement the reservation policy has come as little consolation.

“One cannot live by promises alone. The first step should have been discussion across the table. Since they have faltered on this one, we are not sure how they will make the process easy”, said the Registrar of another deemed university.

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No decision to implement quota on staggered basis: Moily

Posted by indiapolicy on June 18, 2006

 

No decision to implement quota on staggered basis: Moily

New Delhi, Jun 16: Stung by reports of division in the Oversight Committee set up to prepare a roadmap to implement reservation for OBCs in elite educational institutions, its Chairman Veerappa Moily today said no decision has been taken to implement the quota on a staggered or deferred basis.

A day after one of its members B L Mungekar, who is also Planning Commission member, strongly advocated the need to implement the proposal in one go, Moily said "it is not correct to say that the Committee has taken any decision to suggest the implementation of reservation for OBCs on a staggered or deferred basis".

"Neither the Chairman nor any Member of the Committee has formed any opinion about it. The discussions are in a fluid stage and a reference is purely speculative," Moily said in a statement.

After the Committee's meeting yesterday, former Karnataka Chief Minister had said that while reservation in central educational institutions can be done in one go, in state universities, private and deemed universities, it can be done later. Various options were being deliberated with regard to implementaion of reservations, he had said.

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Where and who

Posted by indiapolicy on June 4, 2006

Where and who

Posted online: Sunday, June 04, 2006 at 0000 hrs

ANDHRA PRADESH

WHO: 93 groups. Includes Nai Brahmins, Rajakas (washermen), Gangaputra, Goud community of toddy tappers, Munnuru Kapu.

STRENGTH: Approximately 51 per cent of Andhra Pradesh’s total population of 8 crore.

QUOTA: 25 per cent in education and government employment.

PROMINENT FACES: PCC president K Keshav Rao and Deputy Leader of Opposition, T Devender Goud.

ARUNACHAL PRADESH: No OBCs listed

ASSAM

WHO: 29 communities. Ahom, Moran and Matak, Baria, Darjubi, Chutia, Choudang, Ghose, Kumar, Rudra and Paul (all three of Barak valley), Kupadhar, Mahsiya, Manipuri (including Manipuri Brahmins and Manipuri Muslims), Mukhi, Napit, Nepali, Rajbangshi or Koch, Sudra Das or Dey, Saloi, Sut, SC converted to Christianity, Tantrupal, former tea garden labourers, Teli, Yogi (Nath), Maimal (Muslim fishermen), Maria. Apart from these, also another list of 90 tea garden and former tea garden tribes which have been categorised as ‘More Other Backward Classes’ (MOBC) but are included within OBS for the quota.

STRENGTH: No official data. Government’s rough estimate is 27 per cent of the state’s 2.66 crore population. Other organisations claim it’s 35 per cent.

QUOTA: 27 per cent in both job recruitment as well as government educational institutions.

PROMINENT FACES: Chief minister Tarun Gogoi (Ahom), union minister of state for fertilizer and chemicals Bijoy Krishna Handique, ULFA chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, filmmaker Jahnu Barua, ULFA C-in-C Paresh Barua.

BIHAR

WHO: Divided into two categories—Annexure 1 and Annexure 2 or Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). 109 groups make up the EBCs and 32 the OBCs. The latter includes Yadavs, Kurmis, Banias, Koeri.

STRENGTH: 52 per cent (Of this 20 per cent OBC).

QUOTA: 33 per cent in government jobs as well as educational institutes of the state government.

PROMINENT FACES: Railway minister Laloo Yadav, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

CHHATTISGARH

WHO: 90 groups (mostly the ones listed in Madhya Pradesh).

STRENGTH: 42.78 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 14 per cent in educational institutes and government jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: Education minister Megharam Sahu, panchayat and rural development minister Ajay Chandrakar.

GUJARAT

WHO: 138 communities including Parmars, Prajapatis, Modis, Koli Patels, over 20 castes from the Muslim community and another 20 from other communities, potters and tailors.

STRENGTH: No official data but according to the Caste Welfare Department it is about 52-55 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 27 per cent in all state government employment and state funded education institutes.

PROMINENT FACES: Chief minister Narendra Modi—he’s from the Ghachi community. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), Bharatsinh Solanki (Thakore), Vajubhai Vala (state BJP president) and Arjun Modhvadia (Leader of Opposition, Gujarat).

HARYANA

WHO: 72 communities. Yadavs, Ahir and Gujjars among others.

STRENGTH: Rough estimate is 20 to 25 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 27 percent in educational institutions and in direct recruitment to Class III and Class IV posts.

PROMINENT FACES: Working president of Haryana Congress Ram Prakash, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh, state revenue and irrigation minister Captain Ajay Singh Yadav.

HIMACHAL PRADESH

WHO: 48 groups notified in 2004, none of them are very prominent. Include Aheri, Bahti, Ghirth, Kurmi, Ghasi, Gowala, Gadaria, Bagria, Hansi, Chirimar, Gorkhas, Ghai, Labana, Nai, Takkhan, Maha Brahman, Acharj, Jat, Mallah and Bujhru.

STRENGTH: Nearly 17 per cent of the state’s population, according to figures collected by local government agencies from panchayat records.

QUOTA: 18 percent for class III and IV jobs and 12 per cent for class-I and II jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: Former Speaker of the state assembly Chaudhry Sarvan Kumar and Chander Kumar, former minister and sitting Lok Sabha member from Kangra.

JAMMU & KASHMIR

WHO: What are OBC in other states are known as socially and educationally backward classes here.

STRENGTH: No official data. Rough estimate: 30 per cent

QUOTA: 31 per cent in education and government jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: Leader of Opposition in state assembly Abdul Rahim Rather.

JHARKHAND

WHO: Listed 30 groups include Sundi, Yadav, Bania, Momin (Muslim) and Kurmi Mahato.

STRENGTH: No official data.

QUOTA: 14 per cent in educational institutes and in jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: State home minister Sudesh Mahato, former Lok Sabha MP Suraj Mandal.

KARNATAKA

WHO: 203 communities that are further divided on the basis of degree of backwardness. Vokkaligas and Veerashaiva Lingayats are two dominant groups

STRENGTH: According to the backward classes commission the percentage of OBCs in the population is around 70.

QUOTA: 32 per cent in education and government employment. Creamy layer is excluded.

PROMINENT FACES: Almost all of Karnataka’s top politicians belong to OBC groups. Former prime minister H D Devegowda, former Chief Minister S M Krishna, former chief minister J H Patel, former chief minister S Bangarappa, former deputy chief minister Siddaramaiah.

KERALA

WHO: 68 communities. Ezhavas, Muslims, Latin Catholics, Nadars, Scheduled Castes converted to Christianity, Dheevara, Vishwakarmas and a few other groups.

STRENGTH: Over 54 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 40 per cent for government jobs. But state government-deputed Justice KK Narendran Commission found out that Ezhavas already held eight per cent more jobs than than the 14 per cent reserved for them. Significantly, the Narendran Commission also found that out of the total 3,25,554 employees in the state Government departments and judiciary, 1,57,008 (as on August 1, 2001) belonged to the Backward Classes, which works out to 48.23 per cent of the total government jobs—shooting the stipulated 40 per cent quota.

PROMINENT FACES: CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and chief Minister Achuthanandan, Union minister Vayalar Ravi of the Congress. Many well-known writers, academics, bureaucrats, artists and business leaders. A random list would include celebrated Hollywood director Manoj Night Shyamalan and the late O V Vijayan, two state Governors, Ambassadors and at least four former Chief Justices, a former DG of BSF and the current DG of Coast Guard, at least two state police chiefs and four serving Additional DGs of Police in Kerala, among others.

MADHYA PRADESH

WHO: 356 on the list including 90 Muslim groups. Others include those traditionally engaged in animal husbandry, carpenters, wall painters, washermen, weavers, fishermen, tailors, potters, barbers, bangle sellers.

STRENGTH: A little over 50 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 14 per cent in education and government jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: Uma Bharti, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, former CM Babulal Gaur.

MAHARASHTRA

WHO: Traditional skilled workforce of the village community as well as educationally backward sections among converted Christians. State government added 35 more communities six months ago, taking the total number to 344. The newly included communities include East Indian Christians.

STRENGTH: Said to comprise about 52 per cent of the the state’s 9.69 crore population—but that’s just projections based on the 1931 data.

QUOTA: 19 per cent in education and employment.

PROMINENT FACES: PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal, former chief minister Gopinath Munde, celebrated rural poet N D Mahanor and vice-chancellor of Mumbai university Vijay Khole.

MANIPUR

WHO: Meitei—this includes Meitei Brahmin, Meitei Sanamahi and Meitei Rajkumar. Also falling under the Meitei umbrella are the Meitei Pangal (Muslims); Nepali; Teli (non-locals who have been domiciled in Manipur since 10 years and their descendants.

STRENGTH: OBC Commission set up in August 2005 is yet to submit its report.

QUOTA: 17 per cent in government employment. Prominent faces: Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh.

MEGHALAYA

WHO: 20 listed include Ahom, Baruli, Baroi, Ghosh, Kumar, Nepali, Sudra Das or Dey, Sikh Harijan, Tantripal, former tea garden labourers.

STRENGTH: No separate data for OBCs. According to 2001 census, the others category (that includes OBCs) is about 13. 6 per cent of the total population.

QUOTA: None.

PROMINENT FACES: None in this predominately tribal state.

MIZORAM & NAGALAND: No OBCs listed

PUNJAB

WHO: State government hasn’t notified list of OBCs in the state but has listed 69 castes as backward. However, the National Commission of Backward Classes (NCBC) had notified 66 groups as OBCs in Punjab. The list includes Sainis, Kamboj, Kashyap Rajput and Labanas.

STRENGTH: Estimated 26 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 10 per cent in educational institutes and government jobs for the backward castes.

PROMINENT FACES: Former SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur, rural development minister Lal Singh.

RAJASTHAN

WHO: 110 groups, prominent among them Jat, Yadav, Mali, Saini, Gurjar, Vishnoi, Lodhi, Raisikh, Charan, Meo, Kayamkhani, Darji (tailor), Nai (barber), Kotwal, Chobdar.

STRENGTH: 54 per cent of state’s population.

QUOTA: 21 per cent in jobs and medical and engineering colleges.

PROMINENT FACES: Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Sis Ram Ola (Union Minister), Sumitra Singh (Speaker of Assembly), Gyan Prakash Pilania (Former DGP, now Rajya Sabha MP, the Nawab of Tonk.

ORISSA

WHO: In Orissa OBCs are called Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBCs) that number 210 and include almost all communities except Brahmins and Kayastha. Khandayats, Telis, Vaishyas are considered backward even though they are powerful in the state.

STRENGTH: 52 percent of Orissa’s 3.67 crore population.

QUOTA: 27 per cent in government service.

PROMINENT FACES: Former railway ministers Srikant Jena and Kanhu Charan Lenka, Biju Janata Dal secretary general and former panchayati raj Minister Damodar Rout, agriculture minister Surendra Nath Nayak, revenue minister Manmohan Samal, former sports and youth affairs minister Ranendra Pratap Swain.

SIKKIM

WHO: Bahun, Chettri, Newar and Sanyasi.

STRENGTH: Data not available.

TAMIL NADU

WHO: 256 groups including Vanniyars (Most Backward Caste) who comprise roughly about 35 per cent of the OBCs.

STRENGTH: About 50 per cent of the state’s 6.46 crore population

QUOTA: 50 per cent in education and government employment.

PROMINENT FACES: Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi and his nephew and Union Minister and Dayanidhi Maran (they belong to the Isai Vellallar community of musicians) are just two of the many prominent OBC faces.

TRIPURA

WHO: 46 communities. Prominent are Nath or Yogi Goala and Ghosh.

STRENGTH: 46 per cent of state’s population.

QUOTA: None.

PROMINENT FACES: Assembly speaker Ramendra Nath (CPI-M) and Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath (Congress).

UTTARANCHAL

WHO: 84 communities including Gorkhas, Rai Sikhs, Jat Sikhs, Gujjars, Momin Ansar, Teli and Jojha. State government plans to extend it to residents of certain backward areas, irrespective of caste.

STRENGTH: No official data. According to the Backward Class Commission chairman Kumwar Pranav Singh, it’s 40 per cent of the state’s population.

QUOTA: 14 per cent in educational institutes and jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: MLA Pranav Singh, former Raja of Landhoura in Haridwar district.

UTTAR PRADESH

WHO: 79 groups including Yadav, Sonar, Jatav, Kurmi, Giri, Gujar, Gosai, Lodh and Kamboj.

STRENGTH: According to the OBC Welfare department it’s 50.02 per cent of the state’s 176 million population.

QUOTA: 27 per cent in educational institutes and government jobs.

PROMINENT FACES: Chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chaudhary Ajit Singh (RLD), Beni Prasad Verma (SP), Kalyan Singh (BJP).

WEST BENGAL

WHO: 64 groups including Tili, Sadgop, Satchashi, Napit.

STRENGTH: An estimate prepared by the Backward Castes’ Welfare Department puts it at 13.4 per cent of the state’s 8 crore population.

QUOTA: 7 per cent in government and government-aided schools and in government jobs.

http://www.indianexpress.com/iep/sunday/story/5705.html

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No stopping Arjun Singh as he further tightens quota screws

Posted by indiapolicy on June 4, 2006

No stopping Arjun Singh as he further tightens quota screws

Varghese K George

Posted online: Sunday, June 04, 2006 at 0000 hrs Print Email

Not just IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, over 100 more institutes, public and private, in 27% OBC quota net: from Pune’s Symbiosis to TIFR, Manipal to BITS. Arjun Singh’s latest Bill proposal also asks UGC to fix fees as per quotas, even threatens punitive action

NEW DELHI, June 3:On May 29, the very day the Supreme Court observed that quotas can divide the nation and asked the Government to explain its rationale behind the 27% OBC quotas, HRD Minister Arjun Singh further tightened the quota screws on the higher-education sector, both public and private.

In a note prepared that day for the Cabinet, his Ministry has proposed a legislation with provisions that give the Government unprecedented power not only to impose quotas in over 100 “deemed universities” over and above 32 Central institutions but also to regulate their fees, selection procedure—and even take punitive action.

So not just IITs, IIMs and AIIMS, the institutions which are brought into the 27% OBC quota net include Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani; Manipal Academy of Higher Education; Pune’s Symbiosis International Education Centre and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

According to the note, obtained by The Sunday Express, the key provisions of the proposed Bill, titled Central Educational Institutions (Reservation of Seats and Regulation of Admission and Fee) Bill, 2006, are:

Quotas specified: 15 for SCs; 7.5 for STs and 27 for OBCs

New names in this quota net: Institutions, aided and unaided by the Government, and deemed to be universities will now be “Central educational institutions” to which the above percentages will apply.

UGC decides: The University Grants Commission will have the power to regulate admissions and fees in these institutions.

Two fee packages: There will be a “differential fee structure” for SC/ST/OBC students to make “reservation a meaningful reality.” The Centre can specify what the difference in fees should be.

Mandatory increase in seats: The Government can, “by order, direct any Central Educational Institution to increase the number of seats in each branch or faculty,” to protect the number of seats available for general students. In other words, no IIT or IIM can refuse to increase seats.

Say in selection: Unaided institutions deemed to be universities shall make admissions in “a fair and transparent manner,” on the basis of qualifying examinations prescribed by UGC.

Monitoring: The Centre has power to check for compliance with the provisions by the institutions.

Punitive action: In case of violation, the Centre can withhold grants, withdraw deemed university status, take “any other appropriate action under relevant acts.”

Bill drags these too into the quota raj: IIFT, NSD, BIT…

Among the “deemed universities” that are proposed to be brought under the new Bill:

Indian School of Mines (Dhanbad)

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Manipal)

National Institute of Mental Health and Sciences (Bangalore)

Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai)

Symbiosis International Education centre (Pune)

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (Delhi)

Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (Mumbai)

Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai)

BITS (Pilani)

National School of Drama (Delhi)

BIT-Mesra (Ranchi)

Central Institute for English and Foreign Languages (Hyderabad)

What the world thinks
From Arjun trying to embarrass his boss to India’s weight of history

Fundamental failure of Indian education is not discrimination in tertiary institutions; rather, it is the inability of primary and secondary schools to produce enough qualified students. Determination to extend reservations can be blamed on politics. Some close to the prime minister scent an effort by Arjun Singh to embarrass his boss, whose job he is widely reckoned to think should be his.
The Economist

Draconian quotas have cast doubt on the ability of the country’s leading universities to compete with the best in the world.
Daily Telegraph, London

Biggest obstacle to modernisation of India’s society is the persistence of its demeaning caste system. So, on the face of it, the new policy is a step in the right direction. But appearances can be misleading. In practice, the move would do very little to expand opportunities for India’s historically disadvantaged groups. But it would deal a serious blow to the quality of India’s best universities…There are certainly reasons for believing that Arjun Singh, India’s minister for education, who unveiled the measure, is using it to bolster his ambitions to replace Mr Singh
Financial Times

The clash pits winners in India’s ongoing economic boom against those who have been left behind.
 It’s undeniable that more people must benefit from India’s economic growth. The danger lies in using caste to make growth more inclusive. A worse folly is for politicians to pretend that caste-based quotas would encourage diversity. Caste-based quotas are the antithesis of affirmative action. India has to obliterate caste-based identities from the national consciousness.

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No clarity on creamy layer issue: Moily

Posted by indiapolicy on June 1, 2006

No clarity on creamy layer issue: Moily

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Whether the creamy layer within the Other Backward Classes will benefit from the proposed move to reserve seats for OBCs in central educational institutions is a question that remains unanswered. Even the Oversight Committee — set up by the Government to monitor OBC reservation in education — is not sure on this count with Chairman Veerappa Moily stating on Wednesday that there was no clarity on this issue.

Talking to reporters after the second meeting of the Oversight Committee in two days, Mr. Moily said it was not clear if his 13-member panel was empowered to go into the creamy layer issue.

For its part, the Union Human Resource Development Ministry maintained it was going by the note issued after last week's United Progressive Alliance Coordination Committee and Left parties' meeting. That note makes no mention of creamy layer and merely states that "the percentage of reservation for OBCs will be fixed at 27 per cent."

Mr. Moily said the decision of the Government to reserve 27 per cent seats in central educational institutions without affecting the general category and disturbing the merit environment or brand name of such institutes was "a possible goal".

"The buzz words within the Oversight Committee are expansion, inclusion and excellence,'' he said.

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BJP divided over quota issue

Posted by indiapolicy on May 31, 2006

BJP divided over quota issue

 Randeep Singh Nandal

Watch story

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 (New Delhi):

The reservation divide has emerged in the BJP with the OBC MPs from the party sharply opposing a resolution, which said the party supports reservations, but for the poor from all castes.

The wording of the section on reservations lead to sharp exchange of words with some members accusing the party leadership of constantly changing its stand on the issue.

A suggestion by S S Alhuwalia that L K Advani's recommendation for a panel to look at alternatives to caste-based reservations should be considered led to an argument.

The OBC leaders of the party led by Bandaru Dattaray protested saying it would lose the party crucial OBC votes.

Ambiguous stand

To this Sushil Modi and Gopinath Munde said that the party's ambiguous stand on reservations was suicidal.

Arun Shourie spoke up in favour of L K Advani's proposal even as party President Rajnath Singh tried to calm things down.

Finally Narendra Modi settled the issue by insisting that the party's stand on reservations, both for OBCs and the upper caste poor, was the right one.

"We have passed the resolution and it confirms to our stated stand on reservations," said Rajnath Singh.

Despite the protests of the OBC leaders the party line prevailed.

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Once upon a time, Rajiv Gandhi asked same questions as SC

Posted by indiapolicy on May 30, 2006

Once upon a time, Rajiv Gandhi asked same questions as SC

Varghese K George

Posted online: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 at 0000 hrs

New Delhi, May 29:Why the hurry? What’s the logic? What’s the scientific basis behind the figure? The Supreme Court’s pointed questions today to the Government of India on its proposed Bill for 27% OBC quotas echo the concerns that the late Rajiv Gandhi raised in his speech on the Mandal Commission in the Lok Sabha on September 6, 1990.

Rajiv, then Leader of the Opposition, described then Prime Minister V P Singh’s hurried announcement of job reservations for OBCs, “not very different from what the Britishers were doing.”

“Today it is the Raja Sahib, sitting there, who is trying to divide our country on caste and religion,” Rajiv said, calling for a “comprehensive action plan, an affirmative action plan for backward communities.”

The thrust of Rajiv’s speech was, “Within a class when you want to give some assistance, it should go to the poorest…We would like that to be targeted to the poorest and weakest in the socially and educationally backward classes…We have problems if the weakest among the classes are not helped and if the weakest among the minority religions are not helped.”

Sixteen years after he made that speech, while his party Congress is pushing ahead with the line that caste is the sole marker of backwardness in the country, it ignores sevaral questions Rajiv had asked V P Singh.

Pointing out that the Mandal Commission failed in its responsibility of “specification of the socially backward classes”—the category article 15(4) of the Constitution makes eligible for special treatment, Rajiv asked: “What sort of information is this report based on? What is the substance of this?”

B P Mandal had not based his report on any scientific field study, and the figure of 52 percent of Hindus as OBC was questioned by Rajiv. Mandal had claimed his personal knowledge after visiting 37 villages was among the source of information on backwardness attributed to castes.

“It is incredible that the government has no comment at all on this report other than saying we will implement it in toto. Why has the government not thought about the lack of scientific input in the data, about the lack of scientific analysis of that data because there were no sociologists involved? Why has the government not spoken about the heavily conditioned inputs that the commission has got? Why has the government not commented on the speed and hurry with which the report was completed?” Rajiv had asked.

Saying that the “Congress was for all types of action including reservation to help socially and educationally backward classes,” Rajiv had said the problem was with “certain definitions.”

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BJP supports OBC quota; demands a pie for upper castes

Posted by indiapolicy on May 29, 2006

BJP supports OBC quota; demands a pie for upper castes
New Delhi, PTI:

Seeking to tread the middle path ahead of the crucial Assembly elections early next year, the Opposition BJP today supported the OBC quota in higher educational institutions even as it demanded that economically weaker sections of upper caste were included in the benefits of reservation.

Apparently attempting a delicate balancing act between keeping the large OBC electorate in good humour and addressing the concerns of its core upper caste constituency, party President Rajnath Singh charged the UPA Government with creating social tensions on the reservation issue and asked it to ensure that merit was not squeezed while implementing the quota regime.

"The BJP had supported the Constitution amendment to provide reservations in higher educational institutions.

 However, while doing so, any attempt at divisiveness must be avoided. Social fabric of the society must not be damaged," Singh said addressing the party national executive for the first time after taking over as party President in January this year.

Asserting that consensus building was a must for such initiatives, he alleged that the UPA Government has "failed on that score".

"The Government must ensure that while implementing reservations, the space for merit is not squeezed and excellence of institutions is not compromised. Efforts must be taken to ensure that the benefits of reservation must reach the most deprived amongst the socially deprived sections.

"The Government must ensure that the economically weaker sections of the upper caste are included in the benefits of reservation," he said.

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Quota issue: Govt announces 13-member panel headed by Moily

Posted by indiapolicy on May 29, 2006

Quota issue: Govt announces 13-member panel headed by Moily
New Delhi, PTI:

Moving quickly to bring an end to the quota imbroglio, Government today announced a 13-member committee headed by senior Congress MP Veerappa Moily to look into issue of implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in higher education institutions and requirements for increasing seats without reducing the number in general category.

Approved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Oversight Committee with secretaries from the ministries of HRD, Health and Family Welfare, Agriculture and Finance, has been asked to submit its report by August 31, this year.

The committee includes B Mungekar, Member, Planning Commission, R Mashelkar, Director General, CSIR, S K Thorat, UGC Chairman, R A Yadav, Vice Chairman, AICTE, N K Ganguly, Director General, ICMR, G Mohan Gopal, former VC, National Law School and R V Vaidyanatha Ayyar, former Secretary.
 Simultaneously, Government also appointed three Groups to go into specific details about Universities and institutes regarding the course of action for giving effect to OBC quota in a time-bound manner.

Under the terms of reference, the Groups will identify the courses at undergraduate and post-graduate level in each of the institutions and universities and student intake for academic session 2007-08.

The groups have also been asked to identify the total number of OBCs and consequently to other categories in each course.

The Groups would identify for each course, the increase in the total number of seats so as to maintain the total availability of seats in the unreserved category and determine the requirement of faculty and other infrastructure for the enhanced intake and to determine the additional requirement of recurring and non-recurring expenditure.

Among other things, the Groups will suggest measures, in short term, to be taken by each institute for the enhanced intake from the academic session 2007-08 and any other preparatory or consequential steps and required to be taken in order to implement the policy of reservations.

The Groups would submit their recommendations by July 31.

The Group for Technological/Engineering Institutions would be headed by M Anandakrishnan, former Vice Chancellor of Anna University.

It would have Sanjay Dhande, Director, IIT, Kanpur, S K Dube, Director, IIT, Kharagpur, Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, IIT, Jabalpur, R P Dahiya, Director, NIT, Jaipur, N Balakrishnan, IISc, Y V Rao, Director, NIT, Warangal, I M Mishra, IIT, Roorkee and Indira Rajaraman, NIPFP as its members.

Headed by Samuel Paul, former Director of IIM, Bangalore, the Group for Management Institutions will have Bakul Dholakia, Director, IIM, Ahmedabad, Krishna Kumar, Director, IIM, Kozhikode, Shekhar Chaudhury, Director, IIM, Kolkata, S D Awale, Director, NITIE, Mumbai and Devi Singh, Director, IIM, Lucknow as its members.

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